DaimlerChrylser Corp., the North American arm of Germany’s DaimlerChrysler AG, has signed on for the second year as the title sponsor of the Tour de Georgia stage cycling race, to take place April 20-25.

The race is to be known as the Dodge Tour de Georgia in promotion of Dodge brand vehicles, a division of DaimlerChrysler.

According to the event’s deputy executive director, Chris Aronhalt, 16 teams from the United States and Europe are slated to compete, including the U.S. Postal Service Professional Cycling Team that includes five-time Tour de France winner, Lance Armstrong.

CSC, a professional cycling team from Denmark, has already committed to the race. Tour de Georgia organizers are currently in negotiations with other international teams to fill the five remaining international spots, Mr. Aronhalt reported.

He said that Mr. Armstrong’s participation in the race, coupled with the success of last year’s race, has increased global interest in the event, both from a team and spectator perspective.

The 2004 Tour de Georgia is expected to attract between 500,000 and one million spectators over five days, along 633 miles of terrain.

Host cities for this year’s event, which will showcase primarily parts of North Georgia, include Alpharetta, Athens, Carollton, Columbus, Dahlonega, Dalton, Dawsonville, Hiawassee, Macon, Milledgeville, Thomaston and Rome. Last year’s race showcased such Georgia communities as Augusta, Gainesville and Pine Mountain.

Visit www.tourdegeorgia.org for more information.